The Robin Williams Question

463px-Robin_Williams_2011aLinda Evans Shepherd

I want to answer the Robin Williams Question that so many are struggling with;

If Robin William’s died, why shouldn’t I?

Here’s my answer, an answer I would have loved to have shared with Robin…

Depression is like a living monster which is built on lies that parade through your mind; lies built for one purpose, to steal, kill and destroy the wonderful person you are.  Dr. Keith Abow, a psychiatrist who has dealt with many who entertained this monster said in a recent article which addressed Robin, “I would have told you to fight against the invader with everything and every resource, without pride.  Deploy every weapon. And because the truth is the mortal enemy of every lie, I would have told you to get to an emergency room or call a suicide hotline or 911 and tell someone the absolute truth about all the dark thoughts you were having—yes, even the one about leaving the planet. Especially that one. Because that one is the big lie implanted in your mind by the Godforsaken charlatan, scum, named major depression. Your enemy. And mine.”

I applaud Dr. Abow’s wise words, but I’d like to further shine the truth on the lies that come with depression.  They are from the pit of hell.  We know Satan (who is real) has come to steal, kill, and destroy the ones that God has gifted with the most purpose and potential.  First he blinds them to their future and hope, then he whispers lies into their hearts.

Do not believe those lies.

If I could have said one thing to Robin prior to his death, I would have told him, “You are loved and have brought joy to so many and if you choose to live, you will continue to bring joy to others and even find happier moments yourself.  Plus, if you live, you will not inspire others to give up on life. Your death will become a tragedy for many families.”

The sad truth is that others have been influenced by Robin’s death and chosen death as well.  Robin could have chosen life and walked out of his deep depression to experience more of his God given purpose as well as love, joy and even peace.  Sure, he may have had to struggle from time to time, but he could have worked to manage his depression and continued to live.  The problems he may have struggled with such as self-loathing, financial woes, fear of the future, or even mental illness, could have been lived-through.  These struggles could have been met through the strength of the very God Robin believed in.

If Robin had only trusted in the God who loved him, if he had pushed back against his depression and called 911 or gone to the emergency room, he would have lived through the darkness to find life once again.

Robin is gone but you are here, and I’d like to say that if you are depressed, you can fight back. You can recognize the lies of depression which may be trying to coax you into a tragic decision that will not only hurt you but those who love you. Don’t do anything rash while you are in the depth of your hurt or despair. Live, so you can have a hope and a future.

As the word says in Jeremiah 29:11New Living Translation,

 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)

Like Robin, you do not have to give into the temptation of death.  You can choose to live.  Just as the Lord told his people,

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deut. 30:19 (NIV)

Live!  God loves you and will get you through the darkness.

If you would like to know more about God’s love for you, go to:  GodTest.com

Words: a Lifeline to a Suicidal Person

By Karen Kosman:

Sometimes an encouraging word can be what a suicidal person needs to hear.

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in setting of silver. Proverbs 25: 11

 

Hope image by Stuart Miles FDP net

Is it safe to say that words make the world-go-around?

It’s true that words are powerful and make impressions on our hearts, minds and souls. They can be used to tear down and destroy our self-esteem, forming a destructive foundation for the rest of our lives. Depression, behavioral problems, and physical illnesses are often direct outcomes of emotional abuse—often resulting in invisible scars.

For those trapped in a pit of depression negative self-talk chips away at their ability to reach out and think logically. They have forgotten how to touch, how to cry, and even how to laugh. They do not really want to die, only to escape the pain that rages within them.

Often others don’t know how to react to someone they know is severely depressed. They may feel it best not to say anything negative, or encouraging. But this action only isolates the suicidal person more. However, kind words can seem to a depressed individual like a lifeline of hope.

As a training coordinator for new phlebotomists I experienced opportunities to reach out to the brokenhearted at the hospital where I’d worked for many years.

One day at the hospital, I went with a new phlebotomist to assist her. To my surprise a guard sat outside one patient’s room, but I had no idea why. I went to the nurses station to inquire and learned a teenage boy had attempted suicide, and his parents hired the guard to watch him.

As we entered the room, a pale, sad teen looked up. He said, “It won’t do any good you know?”

“Tell me,” I asked, “what won’t do any good?”

“The guard. I’ll go home sooner or later.”

“Is your life that painful?” I asked.

“Who cares?”

“I do.”

His eyes softened and he smiled.

As I left his room I determined to visit him later, but the opportunity never arrived. The next day he was moved to another facility.

Often I thought of this young man and prayed others spoke encouragingly to him. It only takes a moment to reach out to someone hurting.

Encouraging a suicidal person to seek help demonstrates to them that you care. Listening to them sends the message that what they have to say is important.

This story contains inserts from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

Refocus Thoughts When Thinking About Suicide

By PeggySue Wells:

When unhealthy thoughts persist, including thinking about suicide, refocusing can help.

 

U.S. Navy Seawolf Submarine, Thinking About Suicide

When a friend’s thoughts dive deep into wrong places,  including thinking about suicide, can you help them periscope up and refocus? Wisdom from the Bible helps.

 

Mary’s husband was the captain of a nuclear submarine. Deployed, the sub would be under the water for six months at a stretch. Their only communication was an occasional message he could receive via transmission when the ship surfaced.

Much like current Twitter counts, the captain’s wife was allowed a limited number of characters for the brief one-way communication she could send.

While Mary carefully considered how to spend each character, this particular opportunity weighed heavy on her heart. During her morning quiet time, she prayed that God would guide as she constructed her communication. Then she wrote:

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7a KJV).

Months later the ship docked and the couple were reunited. Adding her husband’s clothes to the laundry, she discovered a worn and tired slip of paper in a pocket. It was the verse she had wired those months ago.

“I kept it with me for a long time,” he explained. “I had made a decision I was not feeling good about. The more I thought on it, and mentally beat myself up, the more depressed I got. Daily, those words reminded me to choose different thought patterns.”

Do you have someone in your life that seems to focus conversation toward the negative? Is the trail leading them to thinking about suicide? Here are some tips:

1)   De-escalate. Move the conversation to be more about something they want to work on, or improve. Help them find and list the positives in their life.

2)    Give tangible suggestions and encourage your friend to try them. For example, how about journaling, writing out scripture, and volunteering in the community.

3)    Help them focus on one thing, rather than grouping all the problems into an overwhelming tsunami. What is the one aspect that is the most concerning?

4)    How can your friend help others in a similar situation?

The truth is that life looks plenty dark under the shadow of regret, sorrow, grief, and an overpowering number of problems. It is also true that God is greater than our griefs and cares.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Like Mary did for her husband, we can help those who are struggling to channel their thoughts in a healthy direction.

PeggySue Wells is an author books helpful to those who are struggling, including What To Do When You Don’t Want to Go to Church, What to Do When You’re Scared to Death, and Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After.

Feel Suicidal? Truth in 25 Words

By PeggySue Wells:

Despondent? Feel suicidal?

Typically this grows from a deep sense of not being loved.

John 316

I have felt like that at times.

Why go on, I reason, if no one cares? This is not the truth but it certainly feels that way.

So what is the truth?

The most quoted verse in the Bible, John 3:16, declares that God loves you and me. That he loved us before we even knew him. Before you and I were born. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16 NIV). So much promise and assurance is packed into those 25 words. No wonder it is often the first Bible verse put to memory.

In his book, The Joshua Code, O.S. Hawkins shared this:

An unknown, yet wise old sage once explained John 3:16 like this:

For God . . . the greatest Lover
so loved . . . the greatest degree
the world . . . the greatest company that
He gave . . . the greatest act
His only begotten Son . . . the greatest gift
that whoever . . . the greatest opportunity
believes . . . the greatest simplicity
in Him . . . the greatest attraction
should not perish . . . the greatest promise
but . . . the greatest difference
have . . . the greatest certainty
everlasting life . . . the greatest possession

Despite how abandoned I feel, this simple verse gives hope. Not hope in the ‘maybe it will or maybe it won’t’ sense. This hope is the confidence that what God said in John 3:16 is reality for you and me.

This little video should make you smile: John 3:16

PeggySue Wells www.peggysuewells.com is the author of What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Say To Your Own Family, and What To Do When You Don’t Want To Go To Church, among other books. 

Are You Suicidal or Exhausted?

By Linda Evans Shepherd:

Does fatigue and dealing with difficult people make your depression worse? Are you suicidal or exhausted?

 

tired

Recently I got an email from a friend who felt too tired to go on living. In fact, she said, “Everything is such a struggle I don’t think I can take it anymore.  My best solution, I’ve decided, is to kill myself, especially as I can no longer handle the difficult people in my life.”

I suggested that difficult people are hard to deal with, especially when we are worn out or worn down with fatigue. I explained that her best solution was not death, but rest.

If you too are feeling too tired to go on, here are a few things to consider.

Difficult people, struggles, financial woes, marriage difficulties and the like always seem worse when you are tired. So your best solution to recover and not feel overwhelmed by your struggles may actually be to try some of the following ideas that will help you find rest, peace, joy, and activate the things that make you feel happy.

In other words, we at Thinking About Suicide are extending you permission to be kind to yourself so you can start to feel better.

Here are a few ideas to rejuvenate you:

Get More Rest

*  Try going to bed earlier: a half-hour to a whole hour earlier – even if you can’t sleep why not relax, pray, read your Bible or talk to God.

*  Sleep in.

Take a Break

*  Take a break from difficult people – if all else fails, turn off the phone or leave the room or make an excuse to run an errand.

*  Answer difficult emails only once a day or even once a week.

Exercise

*  Go for a jog – exercise can help improve mood!

*  Take a walk.

*  Jump on a mini tramp ten – twenty minutes a day to music that makes you happy.

Listen to Inspiring Music

* Music is a great idea!  Listen to music that makes you happy.

*Play your favorite praise music.

Try Something New

*  Go away for the weekend.

*  Watch a sunset.

*  Talk to someone who makes you feel happy.

*  Go to church.

*  Make a list of new goals and dreams that you would like to accomplish.

Read

* Read the Bible

* Read a good book.  May I suggest Jesus Calling, or my latest book which is a GREAT feel-good book, Experiencing God’s Presence, Learning to Listen While You Pray.

*  Read the book Adrenal Fatique by James L Wilson and follow the doc’s advice.

Create

*  Do something creative – paint, knit, cook or write a poem.

 Get Good Nutrition

*  Avoid sugar.

*  Add vitamin b, c, e and magnesium to your diet.

*  Eat something healthy like a green salad with protein.

*  Drink a nice, big glass of water.

Imagine God wrapping you in his arms and telling you that He loves you.

Most of all: Please do not harm yourself.  When you start to feel better, you may be surprised that your problems don’t seem as painful and that you have more energy to cope with your stress.  As for my friend, I’m happy to say she took my advice and is feeling much better.

This video will help you understand what adrenal fatigue is and how it may be affecting you:

Connecting Suicide Prevention Day with 9-11

By LWS:

Yesterday was Suicide Prevention Day. Today we remember 9-11.  How are they connected?

 

Image by smarnad / FreeDigitalphotos.net

God loves people of all cultures and races and hates to see broken hearts as a result of suicide. [Image: smarnad / FreeDigitalphotos.net]

Here at our site Thinking About Suicide, we have many stories from people who have survived and thrived after initially considering suicide. We focus on how a life given over to Jesus Christ can turn in a whole new direction to find hope where hope was previously lacking.

We also have had articles focusing on various causes of suicide: chronic depression, mental illness, and physical, chemical and nutritional imbalances. (See our Categories.) In those articles, we often try to direct people to medical help as well as faith for suicide prevention. We hope many who struggle were able to see our articles on Suicide Prevention Day.

However, one cause of suicide we’ve never discussed is suicide with the goal of taking one’s life in addition to taking the lives of others. Suicide-murder has been known to happen in domestic violence cases. However, 9-11 is a good example of that kind of tragedy on a much larger scale.

In domestic violence, murder-suicide is a mistaken solution often used to regain a sense of control–especially if the partner has attempted to leave. Tragically, this solution often prevents the present and eternal hope that could have been found through Christ.  Such a tragedy will leave brokenhearted family members behind, as well as eliminate any chance for the abuser or the victim to have the opportunity to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ in order to find a fresh start or a new life.

Terrorism is also related to control and punishment, but those who commit suicide with these ideas in mind often have a misguided belief that such actions please God. But the God of Abraham is one of love, one of forgiveness. Acts of terrorism also leave brokenhearted family members behind on both sides — all people who God loves and hurts for.

To help bridge the gap between God and man, God sent a Savior—His own son.  In order to discover how to live in God’s love, visit GodTest.com.

In honor of Suicide Prevention Day, please pause and pray for all family members who have lost someone from the tragedy of suicide. We also urge you to explore our articles under Suicide Prevention.

Suicide as a Way Out of Domestic Abuse

When you’re in a relationship that involves domestic abuse — physical or emotional — suicide may seem your only way of escape.

 

 But there is hope and help.

 

Off the Map domestic violence

Jacquie Brown, author of the book, Off the Map: Follow me out of Domestic Abuse, certainly felt that way the day she ran to her bathroom after a violent confrontation with her husband. Her “crime”? Urging her husband not to drive his truck after drinking seven glasses of whiskey and cola in a few hours.

In Jacquie’s words:

He shoved me into the wall, yelled and called me disgusting names, criticized everything about me, searched for the words that would hurt me the most.

Fear gripped my being. My stomach tensed, and I huddled into myself, trying to disappear as tears flowed and I thought, Am I really those foul degrading words I hear him calling me? He’s right about my stupidity; I never learn. I’m always the catalyst for these explosions of torment. How do I solve it? How do I stop it? The agony and desolation is relentless. How do I escape?

Time seemed to stand still as a thought seeped into my mind. I knew a way to escape. I turned and race up the stairs to the washroom, locking the door behind me. I shouldn’t have run. Now he knows something is unusual. I hurried and swallowed several pills before he reached the door.

He yelled, “Open the door or I’ll kick it in!”

Jacquie came out of the bathroom and her husband got their two young children out of bed, and told the children “This I what happens if you try and kill yourself.” He then beat her.

After he left, Jacquie made her way to each of the children’s rooms and assured them she was okay. Afterwards, she wondered how she could ever have been so selfish as to think of leaving her children alone with their father. But of course, she wasn’t thinking clearly. She was just trying to find a way out of the constant fear and abuse. (p. 42-43)

Suicide lets the abuser win

While there may be times when suicide seems like the only way out of abuse, fortunately, Jacquie eventually found a much better way. And then she wrote a book in order to help others find their way out, and also to help friends, family, and others who want to help domestic abuse victims understand what’s going on in the mind of a person who is being abused.

Off the Map is written with alternating chapters, first giving us a glimpse into Jacquie’s life, then immediately following that with an explanation of what she calls the “underlying dynamics or aspects of domestic violence.”

In her introduction, Jacquie says: “Off the Map demystifies domestic violence. It brings to light how we are ensnared and why we stay trapped. It also reveals our self-destructive coping mechanisms and ultimately the way out of the dungeon to discover the treasure of life.” (p.xiii)
Jacquie also explains that all violence isn’t physical beatings. There are many other ways an abuser can hold someone captive.

The book has a number of helpful lists, including:

  • signs that you are in an abusive relationship
  • how abusers isolate their victims
  • different types of abusers
  • types of abuse
  • wrong beliefs of both the abusers and the abused
  • reasons why victims stay in the relationship
  • common coping mechanisms that lead to more difficulty
  • people and groups who will help abuse victims
  • practical steps to take to ensure safety when leaving

The book clearly explains how pretty well anyone could wind up being abused without necessarily realizing what is happening. Jacquie shows how abusers can mix kindness in with the abuse in a way that creates dependency and keeps the victim ambivalent about the abuser and unable to break free.

She also links long-term abuse to C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). On page 93, Jacquie says, “A woman suffering in a relationship of domestic violence is similar to a soldier’s experience as a prisoner of war. Both undergo prolonged exposure to traumatic experiences and both can develop C-PTSD.” She then goes on to explain how chemicals in the brain (such as serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline), are impacted, and how this can lead to a variety of negative things, including forgetfulness, depression, detachment, self-condemnation, loss of identity, hopelessness, etc.

Everyone needs to read this book

This book is specifically about domestic violence, and is invaluable for anyone wanting to understand that type of abuse. However, the implications of abuse go far beyond that to any long-term relationship where one person has power over another and could use it in abusive ways: either situations where one has direct power over another (e.g. a parent, teacher, coach, boss, pastor, doctor, counselor) or situations where a peer can exert power over another person (e.g. a co-worker, teammate, a sibling, close friend, roommate, classmate). Please check it out, especially if you:

  • suspect you might be in an abusive relationship
  • suspect someone you know might be in an abusive relationship, whether domestic or otherwise
  • suspect you might be an abuser
  • are in any way involved with people; pastors, teachers, psychologists, counselors, doctors, nurses, politicians, managers, parents, etc.

Click to visit Jacquie Brown’s website and for information about her book Off the Map: Follow Me Out of Domestic Violence 

To My Friend

By PeggySue Wells

I want to say to my friend:

When I’m feeling despondent, it can be difficult for those around me to know what to say. Or what to do. Family members and friends wonder how they can lift my spirit. And even though I have journeyed to the pit of depression and made my way back to better emotional ground, my encouragement is not always adequate to uplift my friend who is having thoughts of suicide.

But I want to say to my friend, I understand.
The situation is akin to being tucked tight inside an oyster shell. Depression and thoughts of suicide insulate and isolate me from the world. I yearn for connection with others to satisfy my loneliness but can’t seem to escape the confines of this melancholy. Nor can those caring people around me penetrate the despair that encapsulates my heart. Closed up inside this formidable oyster shell like a crustacean, I keep my pearls hidden. That inner part that is the unique me designed and created by God for fellowship and interaction, lies still and hidden from the world. Locked away from the community I need and that needs me.

Pearls photo by Maggie Smith

Pearls by Maggie Smith via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Singer/songwriter Colton Dixon had the same experience. His friend was feeling suicidal and Colton longed to help. How could he communicate hope through the hard shell of despair that encompassed the heart of his friend? His gentle song, You Are is his message to his friend.

And I want to say to my friend, it’s hope for you.

Listen and watch here.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM8hxE-j4T8

Tell your friend: Live, love, and hope. I want you to live. You matter to me. Then offer some resources so the burden isn’t all on you.
The National Suicide Hotline is available 24/7 1-800-273-8255 and so are encouraging articles from this website and Finding God Daily.
Let others come along side and help you to help your friend. None of us should walk this path alone. God loves you and your friend.
PeggySue Wells is the author of more than a dozen titles including Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After.

The Crime of Suicide Baiting

by Laurie:

A recent site visitor told us her heartbreaking, horrifying story: her son was a victim of suicide baiting.

Be the one who would shout "Stop! There is hope for you! God loves you!" ?

You can, instead, be the one who shouts: “Stop! There is hope for you! God loves you!”

Debra DeAngelo from the iPinion Syndicate summarizes this well in her post, What have we become when suicide becomes entertainment?:

Can there be anything more soul-shredding than your child committing suicide? Yes: discovering that his/her death provided entertainment for a cheering crowd.

Who does that? Who goads a person into killing him or herself? I never thought about that much before. Neither did Kathie Yount of Harrisburg, Missouri. Until she called her son Dylan one random day and a strange voice answered. He identified himself as a medical examiner, and told Kathie that an unidentified man’s body was on the sidewalk six floors below her son’s apartment window at Hallidie Plaza in San Francisco.

Kathie’s own article describes her loss and the horror of the situation in her own post: “Suicide baiting — they cheered while my son jumped,”, writing:

“He died, dehumanized and in despair, in front of 1,000 people who mostly stood watching while others taunted him, provoking his death.”,

This could be compared to the Bystander Effect, a term that came about due to the Kitty Genovese murder case.

Yet Bystander Effect has more to do with apathy than with participation in a crime. Suicide baiting behavior falls more into the area of bullying, as opposed to apathy. It’s taunting and bullying someone to take their own life. This can also be in the form of cyberbullying, as in the case of Megan Meier who took her life after being bullied by an adult posing as a teen on the Internet. (See our related post: How to Stop Cyberbullying.)

An even better word for suicide baiting is sin. Evil personified. It doesn’t matter how many in a crowd are chanting “Jump!” Every one of us must be that person who offers healing and hope, not jeering or apathy. And this happens when we realize that each and every person–including yourself– is unique, created by God for a purpose, and loved by Him.

Every individual has the moral reponsibility to speak life — not death — into the life of others. 

Kathie Yount now feels compelled to prevent similar occurences by increasing public awareness of the crime of suicide baiting, and is pushing for changes in legislation to make suicide baiting a felony. You can visit Kathie’s Facebook page: Support Suicide Baiting Prevention Awareness.

To learn more about God through a relationship through Jesus Christ, visit our sister site: GodTest.com. Not only can He provide healing for your own hurts, but forgiveness if you have in the past caused others pain without considering the consequences.

If you have ever participated in or watched and not stopped a sucide baiting and feel guilt over that, do repent of that and ask forgiveness. Please do not consider this an excuse to take your own life. God can lead you to a new life of encouraging and helping others, possibly even saving the lives of others. You can also help stop the crime of suicide baiting by joining Kathie Yount in her efforts.

Chat, Listen, Love: Video and Texting for Suicide Prevention

By PeggySue Wells:

Learn about Remedy.fm, a Christian broadcast ministry using video and texting for suicide prevention.

Ask for help

“In our six years, we helped prevent 70 suicide attempts,” said Clinton Faupel, director of Remedy.fm.

We chat, we listen, we love is the motto for this web based broadcast ministry that produces on-demand video and radio content based on a Biblical worldview. Heard in 176 countries, Remedy encourages young adults to live on purpose and not by accident.

“Teens are hurting.” According to Faupel nearly 5,000 teens and young adults in America commit suicide each year. Correspondingly 26 percent of teens have consumed alcohol, 20 percent engaged in sexting, and one in three struggle with pornography.

How powerful is the internet as a touch point for teens who are thinking about suicide? Every week, 60 percent of teens spend 20 or more hours on the internet. When someone needs to connect, Remedy wants to be there.

“We have 60 volunteer soulmedics available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to chat and pray with anyone via text, live chat, or email,” Faupel noted. In the past year Remedy has engaged 168,058 chats with teens who could share their struggles anonymously and get help right away.

Are you having thoughts of suicide? Being bullied? Are you practicing self-harming behaviors? Hurting because your parents are divorced? Need relationship advice? Remedy is a text away. Faupel said, “We offer hope in the midst of hurting.”

Contact Remedy at www.RemedyLive.com. If you are thinking about suicide and need to talk, text “Remedy” to 313131.

Click on this link for a message to you from Remedy.fm

http://bit.ly/18s6Ilu

            PeggySue Wells is the author of more than a dozen books and serves as a soulmedic for Remedy.fm.